Recently, John Effer blew up the internet with his pictures on Instagram. He’s Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor’s doppelganger. One look at Effer will confuse you who the real actor is. So much so that Effer’s post instantly struck among other B-Town actors who posted comments on social media. The US-based fitness coach John Effer is a professional bodybuilder and diet coach with over 120k followers on Instagram.
Social media is full of such posts, where celebrity lookalikes taste fanfare and also mimic them. These lookalikes also catch viewers’ attention and the internet is flooded with their images or comic videos.
Taylor Swift, whose 10th studio album Midnights released in October, has TikToker Ashley Leechin aping her. Leepchin is often seen dressed up as the pop star on the platform. News reports suggest, Swift’s album has become the highest-priced digital album released in the Chinese market-selling for $4.83 or 35 yuan.
Leechin is popular with over 11.6 million likes, 646K followers on TikTok and described the album via Instagram as “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life”.
Swift’s mother Andrea Swift also confirms Leechin looks like Swift. The singer also commented on a post “My mom just saw this and said ‘she looks like you’.”
Tesla chief Elon Musk has a Chinese doppelganger Yilong Ma, also known as Musk’s ‘Chinese twin brother’.
Then there is Canadian rapper Drake’s look alike Izzy Drake on Instagram, who has 170,000 followers and reportedly has built a career off impersonating the original. He earns over $5000 for showing up for gigs in the US and Canada.
Back home, social media star Parvez Kazi has been working as Salman Khan’s body double for over a decade. He does action films and is known to work in blockbusters like Tiger Zinda Hai, Dabangg 3 and Race 3, Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai, Bharat, and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Aishwarya Rai’s lookalike Aashita Singh has 283k followers on Instagram. She is often seen lip synching her famous dialogues on social media.
Eknath Shinde’s look alike Vijay Mane has a beard and wears a red teeka on and became an overnight sensation immediately after Shinde took oath as Maharashtra chief minister in June this year. Suhana Khan, the daughter of actor Shah Rukh Khan and entrepreneur Gauri Khan has Bareeha as an influencer from Pakistan.
However, not all are born with similar facial features. Some work on their habits, appearance and behaviour to look similar. Jennifer Pamplona told The New York Post that she spent almost $600,000 (more than Rs 4.77 crore) on cosmetic surgeries to turn into a Kardashian look-a-like. Recently, she has spent $120,000 (approximately Rs 95.5 lakh) to look like her original self again.
Meanwhile, there’s a study published in the journal Cell Reports which suggests look-alike humans identified by facial recognition algorithms show genetic similarities. “Our study provides a rare insight into human likeness by showing that people with extreme lookalike faces share common genotypes (the genetic constitution of an organism), whereas they are discordant at the epigenome and microbiome levels,” says senior author Manel Esteller of the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute in Barcelona, Spain. “Genomics clusters them together, and the rest sets them apart.”